The local politicians and historians coming out of the woodwork to try and save the decrepit baseball field are about 20 years too late. There’s more rust at Tinker Field than some of the run-down auto shops in Bithlo. Tinker Field is an eyesore that is beyond repair and needs to be demolished.
Some of the arguments being made to preserve Tinker Field are laughable. City Commissioner Sam Ings said, “That’s a very historic thing and I’d hate to see it as a parking lot.” Does Sam realize that Tinker Field is currently used more as a parking lot than an athletic facility?
The Orlando Monarchs of the Florida Collegiate Summer League are the only team to call Tinker Field home, and they play a whopping 23 games in downtown Orlando. Outside of that, you’ve got cars driving all over the outfield for the two bowl games, Orlando City soccer matches and the state football championships.
I understand the historical significance of Tinker Field. Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth played baseball there. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech from the pitching mound at a civil rights rally. What’s wrong with a plaque or a statue or a fountain where the pitcher’s mound is currently at?
It seems as though Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer tried to sneak one over on us, but historical sports stadiums have to be torn down all the time. Tinker Field should be next on the sports reaper’s list.